Jan. 27, 2022
Dear Alma Families,
At Alma, keeping your children safe and in school is our top priority. We are writing to let you know, in accordance with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH), our school is updating our COVID-19 Testing Program, effective Monday, Feb. 7. We are launching an at-home COVID-19 weekly testing program that will increase testing of our participating scholars and staff, regardless of vaccination status.
You are invited to attend our next Alma Family Zoom, at 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 1, to learn more about this weekly testing program. Mark your calendars!
How do I sign up to receive my free test?
We strongly encourage you to fill out this form promptly to opt-in. In order to receive your scholars’ test kit on Feb. 4, you will need to opt-in by completing this form by 5pm on Feb. 3. Families can also opt-in at a later date if they choose, and will receive a test kit the following shipment. All scholars may participate in this program even if they have had COVID previously, including scholars who have tested positive for COVID within the past 90 days.
What is new?
Per DESE/DPH, after we distribute our first round of at-home tests to scholars and staff, we will discontinue Test and Stay and contact tracing for in-school close contacts. This means that if your child is a close contact in school, they may continue to come to school and do not have to be quarantined so long as they do not have any symptoms.
What will remain the same?
- We will continue to test symptomatic scholars and staff as needed.
- If we suspect any transmission of COVID-19 at school, Alma will still be able to conduct contact tracing on an as needed basis, as well as on-site testing (only for those who have previously consented to Test & Stay)
- If your child is a close contact outside of school, they will still need to quarantine and may not come to school during their quarantine.
- This new, at-home COVID-19 testing opportunity is voluntary and only those who opt-in will receive tests.
- At-home test kits will be distributed bi-weekly, with the first test kit coming home with scholars on Friday, Feb. 4.
- Each scholar who opts in will receive one box with two tests to be used on the following two weekends prior to returning to school on Monday.
- Once you have opted-in, you will then continue to receive a box of two on a bi-weekly basis.
- We are asking all families to please test their scholars on Sunday evenings or Monday mornings.
- If your child tests negative: there is nothing else you need to do! Please send them to school as usual. You do not need to report your test results to the school.
- If your child tests positive:
- Please keep them home from school.
- You must also keep home any other unvaccinated siblings in your home. If any of your scholars are up-to-date with the COVID-19 vaccine, they may continue to attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic and test negative.
- Please report the positive test result to your campus medical assistant ASAP (please see contact info below)
- All scholars may participate in this program regardless of vaccination status
As always, please reach out to your campus’ Medical Assistant with any questions or concerns related to COVID-19. We greatly appreciate your support and partnership this school year.
Will Gardner, Executive Director
Keila Pires, Ottiwell Campus Medical Assistant, 508-296-0174
Amy Rivera, Grades K-4 Douglass Campus Medical Assistant, 508-216-0271
Itamary Lopez, Grades 6-8 Douglass Campus Medical Assistant, 508-205-9753